A Moving Question: The Beauty of a Broken Silo

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Compelled by its utilitarian structure and its run in with a tornado, well-known photographer Tim Hursley came across a damaged grain silo while spending 16 years in Hale County, documenting the work of Mississippi architect Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio project. The structure quickly became more than just another object to see and photograph, so he eventually bought the silo after documenting it periodically over a span of three years. Hursley is currently thinking about moving it around – from one place to another – through means of digital media and technology. As he puts it, he simply, ‘encountered and saw it,’ and by moving it from one place to the next, he leaves discovery up to the observer. More images and a video after the break.

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AD Round Up: Schools in the UK

In honour of the royal baby’s birth, we rounded up a selection of schools in the . If architecture was your only criteria – where would you send the third in line to the throne?

Skaters Rights to Southbank Will Be Preserved

© joannapoe via Flickr

In the latest twist in an ongoing saga, the skateboarders campaigning to save the undercroft of the have succeeded in a bid to list the space as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act, as reported by Architects’ Journal. The listing means that any planning decision would have to take the loss to the skating community into account. Read the full article here.

Preservation: Not for Facades Only

Image © G. Widman, via VisitPhilly.com

stirring piece by the  Inquirer Architecture Critic, Inga Saffron, calls for the preservation—both inside and out—of architecture under threat by “warp-speed gentrification.” Saffron uses as her examples two traditionally black, historic event halls, the Royal Theater and the Blue Horizon, that are “now controlled by developers who would gut their innards and insert soulless structures behind the thin veneer of their facades, a parking garage in the case of the Blue Horizon. That would leave the public with the equivalent of a cardboard cutout of the once-glamorous venues, perfect for photo-ops but lacking in architectural flesh and blood.” The article is a spirited call to preserve not just facades, but also the inner life of architecture: what, according to Saffron, makes a building vibrant and preservation-worthy in the first place.

Three Projects Shortlisted for 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize

The RIBA has announced three projects—two located in Asia and one in the —for the shortlist of the RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize. Named for Berthold Lubetkin, a Georgian-born architect, the prize celebrates the work of RIBA members building outside of the UK. Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho, Grimshaw’s Via Verde and Wilkinson Eyre’s Cooled Conservatories will face off for the honor; the winner of this year’s Lubetkin Prize will be announced (along with the winner of the prestigious Stirling Prize) on September 26th in London.

Angela Brady, RIBA President, said:

“The 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize shortlist features three exceptionally innovative projects that meet three very different urban challenges. From the blueprint for affordable housing and the creation of an impressive new shopping district in central Beijing to Singapore’s new sustainable gardens, these are all extremely clever solutions. These cutting-edge schemes show the leading role that architects play in delivering visionary new thinking about urban issues, and illustrate why UK creative talent has such recognition around the world.”

More on the shortlisted projects after the break…

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David Rockwell to Design “Talk” Theater for TED2014

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has commissioned architect David Rockwell to mastermind a temporary, pop-up theater inside the Vancouver Convention Centre, designed specifically to “create an even more powerful connection between speaker and audience — and to allow the audience itself to immerse themselves more deeply in the talk.”

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Rockwell, who designed the interior of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas and the viewing platform at Ground Zero (on which he gave the TED Talk above), expresses his enthusiasm for the project, saying: “I have spoken [at TED] and have had that experience of: your talk is influenced by how you feel in the room. The environment affects how the talk evolves.”

The theater will house 1200 attendees in tiered seating areas that curve around the stage. The layout will be entirely flexible, allowing audience members to choose from multiple seating/standing options — from leaning on rails to traditional theater seats, sofas, or floor seating.

Learn more about Rockwell’s plans for the theater in his interview with Charlie Rose (13:15), after the break…

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The 13 Most Devastating Architecture Disasters in History

Image of Savar Building Collapse via Flickr © rijans

This article on io9 counts down the worst architectural disasters in recorded history, from the failure of Yarmouth Bridge back in 1845 to the horrific collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh this April – revealing the latter as the most catastrophic structural failure in history. Read the article here.

Two Teams Shortlisted for 2014 British Pavilion in Venice

Museum of Copying, FAT’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2012. FAT is part of one of the teams competing to design the British Pavilion for the . Image © Nico Saieh

BD Online reports that the British Council has shortlisted two teams who will compete for the honor of curating the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. With Rem Koolhaas at the helm of this year’s Biennale (June 7 – November 23), the selected theme will be: ‘Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014.’

The two teams facing off are: architect David Knight, The Guardian architecture critic Oliver Wainwright, and planner Finn Williams VS. the architects of FAT, architectural historians Crimson and writer Owen Hatherley.

The final pair were chosen from a longlist of four, including a team led by DSDHA and another made up of Graham Bizley of Prewett Bizley Architects and Rob Gregory, programme manager at the Architecture Centre. The final winner will be announced in august.

Story via BD Online.

How Engineering the Serpentine Almost Brought AECOM’s Computers to a Halt

© Danica Kus

AECOM has published an article detailing the way they helped engineer this year’s Serpentive Pavilion. “A typical building might have between 1-2,000 such steel supports, and it’s estimated that the Eiffel Tower has just over 18,000 steel struts, but the Serpentine’s new has over 26,000 – each one working hard to lend form and strength…The level of detail nearly brought AECOM’s computer systems to a halt. In fact a system upgrade was required to manage the information.” On AECOM’s website you can read more about the challenges of lighting and fireproofing Fujimoto’s complicated structure.

OMA Wins Miami Beach Convention Center

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After months of competition, debate, and quite a fair share of controversy (from the Miami politiicans that is), OMA and South Beach ACE have beaten BIG to win the Miami Beach Convention Center masterplan.

Despite the last-ditch efforts of the Miami politicians to keep the drama going (including a presentation on the supposed superiority of the BIG plan, due to time-sensitivity and cost-efficiency) and even the surprising revelation that negotiations with the teams had been taped (we assume to monitor corruption, as accusations of back-handed deals have haunted the vote), the Miami Commissioners approved the South Beach ACE team over the Portman-CMC team (with BIG) in a five to two vote.

The 52 acre mixed-used development will not only include an iconic new convention center and hotel, but will revitalize this underutilized area of Miami Beach with a network of undulating, green spaces that integrate into Miami’s urban fabric. As OMA Partner-in-charge of the project, Shohei Shigematsu, and Rem Koolhaas said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be chosen to develop one of the most significant urban districts in the US. Our design will reintegrate Miami’s vital convention center with its neighbors, offering new facilities as well as amplifying the character of this exciting city.”

Last month we interviewed Shohei Shigematsu about the Miami Project. Check out that interview, as well as a short video of the proposal itself, after the break…

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UNStudio Wins Yongjia World Trade Center Competition in Wenzhou

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Dutch architecture firm UNStudio has announced that their proposal for the Yongjia World Trade Center Competition has been selected as the winning entry. Unlike the typical world trade center—which usually represents only a concentration business or financial programs—UNStudio has incorporated recreational and cultural facilities and residential units into their plan. For the site in the riverside city of , located in the southeastern Zhejiang province of , UNStudio identified the driving force behind the project as the “notion of precious objects on a tray…where the continuous podium landscape occupies the entire site and serves as a tray-like, green plain for the towers.”

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Ask Richard Rogers Anything (For One Hour Only)

© 2013 LLP

Tomorrow (July 19th) at 1pm GMT, The Guardian will be hosting a live webchat with renowned English architect Richard Rogers. The soon to be 80-year old has already begun celebrating with a retrospective exhibition on his work at the Royal Academy. You can keep the Rogers-fest going by heading to The Guardian’s site and posting your questions in the comments section. The next day, you’ll be able to see responses from the architect himself. So, what would you ask Rogers? 

+ POOL Hits Goal, Becomes Largest Civic Project Ever Kickstarted

Courtesy of Family,

+ , the project (initiated by a duo of young architects) to float a public swimming pool in New York’s Hudson River, has reached its latest kickstarter goal - making it the largest civic project to ever be crowdfunded online. As Architizer’s Karen Wong reports, it’s a remarkable gamechanger for architects (a profession where success often comes well into one’s golden years) as well as public space in general: “It’s a resounding demonstration of the public’s belief in young architects to rethink public space and manifest the untapped capital of waterways to benefit the common good.” Read the full article here

Strelka Institute Education Programme 2013/14: Urban Routines

The Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design opened its doors three years ago. 110 students, 30 teachers and over 200 international experts took part in developing a radically new intellectual and physical space in . This collective effort resulted in a unique research, educational and public center, looking at the complex problems of a Russian city. Strelka Institute studied urban environment and the nature of its transformation, as well as changed the world around us.

Within three years of its existence, Strelka’s educational programme developed several broad themes. In their projects students researched “Public Space”, “Design”, “Preservation”, “Thinning”, “Urban Culture”, “Hinterland”, “Megacity”, “Information”, “Education”. Student projects and research, while remaining inherently student work, made a significant impact on the evolution of public discussion in Moscow, helped introduce the notion of public space into the Russian context and focus public attention on the theme of urban development.

In 2013-14 Strelka will select the theme of its research & design studios differently. We are radically shifting perspective and in the framework of intensive three month research studios are focusing on very concrete, real and seemingly familiar matters.

Applications for this program are open until July 26th. Read more about the program:

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SCAPE and Rogers Marvel Selected to Transform Waterfront District in Minneapolis

Courtesy of Rogers Marvel

SCAPE and Rogers Marvel have been unanimously selected from 27 international applicants to create a schematic design for one of the most visited destinations on the Mississippi River: Water Works in downtown Minneapolis. The SCAPE-Roger Marvel Team, which also includes -based James Lima Planning + Design and Minneapolis-based SRF Consulting, will be responsible for transforming the historically significant Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, within which the Water Works district exists, with a master plan based on a series of “visionary” parks and trails.

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Daniel Libeskind to Design Physics Building at Durham University

University Castle Entrance © Flickr User Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier

Daniel Libeskind has been selected to design a new “landmark” building for Durham University’s Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics in . The state-of-the-art facility, which will house the industry-leading Institute for Computational Cosmology and Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, is expected to “complement” the traditional buildings that surround it while serving as an exemplar for sustainable design. Completion is planned for December 2015, depending on planning permission.

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Synthesis Design + Architecture Wins Competition to Design Pavilion for Volvo

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Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), the forward-thinking Los Angeles-based architecture firm led by architect and USC professor, Alvin Huang, has recently won an international competition to design a rapidly deployable pavilion to showcase and charge ’s new plug-in electric hybrid, the V60. 

Volvo’s “Switch to Pure Volvo” competition, organized by international architecture magazine THE PLAN, called for an innovative and original design for a temporary pavilion that expressed a “strong and creative identity” to showcase the car at fairs and open air presentations in Italian squares. SDA’s approach was to use the car’s design as a flexible and sustainable vehicle as the basis to reimagine the typical trade show pavilion. 

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Mayor of London Suggests Three Potential Sites for Major Airport

Foster + Partners’ Proposal for Thames Hub

Identifying connectivity as the key to prosperity within the 21st century, Mayor Boris Johnson acknowledged the wider economic and regeneration potential of a new hub airport at a City Hall meeting today.

In his speech, Johnson recommended three optimal locations for the new airport: the Isle of Grain in north Kent; Stansted; or on an artificial island in the middle of the Thames estuary. These three suggestions come as a result of a year-long, independently peer-reviewed investigation by the Transport for London, which confirmed the inability of London’s current major airport, Heathrow, to meet demands due to space restrictions.

More on London’s future hub airport after the break…

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